Tuesday, November 01, 2005

DISCRIMINATION IS BAD - UNLESS YOU'RE A CREATIONIST

One of the frequent claims of many Darwinists is that no creationists hold earned degrees, nor have they published in refereed journals. The irony of this is that in many cases it is true only because of the systematic practice of discrimination which denies earned degrees or publication to deserving individuals solely on the basis of their perceived religious beliefs. This insidious practice, with its horrific toll in loss of jobs, broken promises, and ruined careers has been ongoing in America for decades, with no apparent end in sight. In fact, the failure to remedy this situation has served only to embolden those who engage in such practices to continue with their rampage against 'religion'.

Though the discrimination associated with this issue is all but invisible when it comes to media coverage, it has become the defacto grassroots flashpoint of the culture war today in America. I know this because I'm currently editing a book by Dr. Jerry Bergman on this topic, and while both he and I have collected numerous case studies of such discrimination over the past two decades, I am still drop-my-jaw-to-the-floor amazed at how this issue continues to remain under the radar of those who preach against religious discrimination (Ted Kennedy, where are you on this one, buddy?). It's almost as if the widespread practice of discrimination against creationists is somehow viewed as an exception to the protections generally afforded to any other group. Anyone who discriminates against a black person for the color of his skin would expect to see the legal system climb all them in a heartbeat. We teach our children that discrimination is bad - but we seem to somehow conveniently exclude creationists from that equation.

So, I keep asking myself how this is possible? What is the 'root excuse' that is used to justify the arrogant dismissals from teaching positions, removals from jobs, denials of degrees, and etc. that occur so frequently across America today? What possible justification is there that would explain why no one seems to be coming to the aid of creationists today?

The answer is simple, and very visible (just visit a few forums on the internet...). It's because being a creationist is equated with being incompetent. And the basis for that incompetence? If you have any 'religious' beliefs, then you are out of order in the scientific establishment. Simply put, Darwinists say science and religion do not belong in the same room together. Unless of course it's a Darwinist doing the talking.

How did we get to this point? Well, partly through a maze of twisted spin doctoring. And partly from a legal system that refuses to honor the rights of the oppressed. I'll just introduce some of the causes as I see them in this post.

I was reading a different blog post earlier today in which Henry Neufeld stated flatly that "The issue from the creationist point of view is really religious and not scientific..."

I might just as easily say 'The issue from the evolutionist point of view is really atheistic, and not scientific'. So what? What's the big deal with that? Everyone in America has, and is legally entitled to have, their own framework for viewing the universe - especially if it is 'religious'. The Darwinian perspective is 'religious'. It's just not the religion of the Bible. Religious thought is a protected freedom - or so I thought until I began investigating the systematic trashing of creationists two decades ago. Religious freedom of expression simply does not exist in the world of science or academia for the Creationists in our culture.

That has to change.

First, I find it very interesting whenever Darwinists seek to speak on behalf of creationists, many of them invariably fail to characterise the issues fairly or accurately simply because they have their own agenda to promote, and in so doing, they cannot seem to help but create distorted generalities about who creationists are, what they think, and what their 'insidious' agenda is. The result is often a distorted mish-mash of fear mongering, assumptions, and spin-doctoring. What's worse is that when creationists approach people with such a mindset, there is typically little desire on the part of the Darwinian to engage in a fruitful discussion - bashing and name calling seem to be preferred. In many of the online chat rooms I have visited, tolerance for creationists is brutally non-existant or tenuous at best.

Second, this is perhaps one of the most onerous blasphemies being promoted in the origins debate today: placing creationists on the side of 'religion', while evolutionists remain on the side of 'science'. This is a conveniently false claim, whether understood as such or not, and is intended only to marginalize the effectiveness and credibility of creationists, while at the same time promoting the reasonableness of the Darwinian. Enter Sociology professor Steve William Fuller (his cirriculum vitae is a short book in length...), who took the stand yesterday as an expert witness in the on-going trial in Dover, PA. What he said in court is now a matter of record. But what he said in his expert witness report ought to give many readers pause over how the origins debate should be framed.

Fuller states that "contrary to various opinions...ID is a legitimate scientific inquiry that does not constitute 'religion' in a sense that undermines the persuit of science more generally, or for that matter, undermines the separation of State and Church in the US Constitution...

...science and religion are not properly described as mutually exclusive categories (note by KW: with apologies to Stephen J. Gould's concept of separate magesteria). There is no evidence that belief in a supernatural deity inhibits one's ability to study the natural world systematically."

But actually, this is precisely the point that many Darwinians make in their opposition to allowing creationists to teach in our schools or actively practice in many fields of science. They frequently claim that one's religious beliefs interfere with one's ability to engage in any scientific enterprise. I know this because I've read tons of case studies where people were praised for their abilities, until it was learned that they believed in God or were 'religious'. When this is discovered, the rug gets pulled out from under the creationist faster than you can say 'discrimination'.

In reality, the difference between the theist and non-theist is simply his perspective, not his alleged inability to perceive or think rationally. This perception that 'religious' folks are somehow unable or deficient in their ability to understand, appreciate, or work in the context of science is a conveniently contrived (and erroneous) notion that needs to be understood for what it is: pure rhetoric. If we are going to have a serious conversation on the issue of origins, we need to understand that creationists are not mental sub-humans who are so caught up in their religious beliefs that they can't understand or practice good science.

Of course, many professors (like John W. Patterson and Michael Dini) would disagree. They would tend to view creationist ideology in a professor of science as an example of incompetence that must not be tolerated. In fact, they would probably love nothing more than to see creationists stripped of their earned degrees and jobs in academia or the sciences. Just because of their 'religious' beliefs. But I digress (this is good stuff for a different post later on...)

The point I want to make today is that most creationist scientists fully appreciate and understand how science operates just as well as the evolutionist scientist. They simply have a different frame of reference for which they should in no way be penalized or disqualified from participating in the scientific enterprise. Yet, this practice has been steadily on the rise against creationists in American academia and science for the last 30+ years in America. There is no "genteel" way of characterising such a practioce as anything other than bald religious discrimination. That it has been allowed to continue unchallenged is seen by those who are guilty of such discrimination as a tacit acceptance of it.

That's going to change.

But as many Darwinists see it from their 'rational' frame of reference, such actions are not perceived as discrmination at all - but are instead the response one should expect from those who are intent on protecting the sanctity and integrity of science from an invasion of misguided religious zealots. The bottom line is, religious freedom may be a protected right, but it is currently not actually BEING protected within the scientific or academic enterprise. People with religious convictions are being systematically expunged from the ranks of academia and science. If you're a scientist, then you'd better not be religious, in any way. If you are and you let it be known, you're throwing the dice - and quite often it's lethal for your scientific or academic career. The message is loud and clear: you cannot possibly be a good scientist and also be 'religious'. And the reason why this is so is also clear, as Henry Neufeld says "the actions of anti-evolutionists constitute an attack on science and the scientific method".

They do no such thing, and herein lies much confusion from the Darwinist camp, which constantly laments this contrived threat. Creationists are NOT a threat to science - they simply CHALLENGE THE CONCLUSIONS that many Darwinian scientists have reached. And, many of those conclusions, which are solidly based on conjecture, are erroneously characterized as bedrock "principles of science'. Which they are not.

Conclusions reached as a result of applying scientific research and the principles of science must never be confused as having the same value. They don't. Most creationists understand this. Many Darwinists, unfortunately, do not. Creationists are not 'attacking science', and they are not a threat to 'science'. That's just the spin that many Darwinists insist on using to advocate support for their position.

Creationists may however, and RIGHTLY SO, challenge the Darwinian conclusions reached as a result of scientific investigation.


2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find your take on the "discrimination" against creationists interesting. But I wanted to make the following point: the best indicator of future trends is past trends. In the past, whenever the christianity conflicted with science, science has come out ahead in the end(see Galileo for instance).

And then christianity decides suddenly that whatever belief was worth fighting over is now unimportant and unecessary to the faith (see geocentrism). Creationism is the new geocentrism.

1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Kevin

John Davison here. Some time ago you prepared a final version of my Evolutionary Manifesto. I need a link to is as it will be translated into and publshed in Czech. Can you provide me with that version as I seem to have lost the link?

Rest regards,

John

"A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable."
John A. Davison

2:03 PM  

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